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Stuffed Cabbage Casserole

This recipe is courtesy of syndicated columnist, cookbook author and chef, Steven Petusevsky. Steven is chef/owner of Chef Steve’s Carried Away Cuisine in Weston Florida, which furnishes fresh, natural, made from scratch dishes to go. He is also the author of The Whole Foods Market Cookbook. In this recipe Steve combines textured vegetable protein with aromatic basmati rice, allowing it to soak up the rich flavor of tomato, cabbage and herbs while it simmers. This modern version of a classic dish freezes well. Serve this with a field green salad and warm loaf of bread for a complete meal.

Ingredients 1 cup basmati rice

1 large head, green cabbage, very outer leaves discarded, core removed

1 1/2 cups water

1 4-ounce package soy ground beef (such as Soy7 Burger Bits)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper spice

Instructions Combine rice and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until half cooked. The rice will continue to cook in the sauce. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for blanching the cabbage leaves. Have a large bowl filled with ice and water next to the stove for cooling and "shocking" the cabbage leaves. This makes them soft enough to layer. When the water boils, add the whole head of cabbage and blanch for a minute until the outer leaves fall off. Using tongs, place these leaves in the ice water to cool and repeat this process until most all the outer green leaves come off. You will end up with about 15-18 leaves to layer depending on the size of the head. Cool and chop the remaining heart of the cabbage into small pieces and reserve.Prepare Burger Bits according to package directions. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, sautéing for 1 minute until softened. Add the hydrated Burger Bits and Italian seasoning and stir in well. Add the partially cooked rice. Cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add the remaining ingredients; diced tomatoes, vinegar, sugar, thyme, bay leaves and lemon pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes to form a thick sauce.Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.In a large 2-1/2 quart baking dish, layer the blanched cabbage and soy mixture repeating the layers until all the ingredients are used. End with the soy mixture on the surface. Bake for 15-20 minutes until heated through and serve.

Notes Serves 6-8

Calories 26 (7% from fat); Fat 1g (sat fat 0.1g, mono fat 0.1g, poly fat 0.2g); Protein 3.9g; Carbohydrate 24.7g; Cholesterol 4mg; IRON 1.4mg; Sodium 227mg; Calcium 20mg;

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